More than the box score
Get closer to the CWS squads with tidbits few people know
Before they take the field in Omaha at the College World Series, teams have to meet other obligations. On Friday, the CWS teams took time to talk with the media, including NCAA.com's Douglas Kroll. Here's some things they shared that you may not know.
|OREGON STATE BEAVERS|
Head Coach Pat Casey
George Fox (1990) Profile
“I’m a lot bigger family man, a lot quieter and have a lot more interests outside of baseball than a lot of people probably realize because the only time they see you is when you’re in your combat [uniform]. There are a lot of things out there in life for me outside of baseball. I’m blessed to have a family and looking forward to being a contributor other than just winning baseball games.”
It's a fact: After being drafted in the 10th round by the San Diego Padres in 1980, Casey played seven professional seasons. He reached Class AAA with the Calgary Cannons in 1985-86 and the Portland Beavers in 1987.
Outfielder Michael Comforto
Sophomore | Woodinville, Washington Profile
“My mom was an Olympic swimmer in 1984 and 1988. She was a synchronized swimmer and she won two gold [medals] in 1984 and won a silver [medal] in 1988. And then my dad played football at Penn State back in the 1970s.”
It's a fact: Comforto was named to the NCBWA All-America Second Team in 2012 to become the first freshman All-American in Oregon State history.
|MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS|
Head Coach John Cohen
Mississippi State (1990) Profile
“I have lived in six of the 14 cities in the Southeastern Conference. I grew up in Tuscaloosa, my dad worked at LSU for a small time so I lived in Baton Rouge. I’ve lived in Gainesville, Fla., Lexington, Ky., Columbia, Mo. and now of course Starkville, Miss.”
It's a fact: Cohen was introduced as MSU's 16th head baseball June 7, 2008, exactly 18 years to the day after leaving Omaha, Neb., and the 1990 NCAA College World Series following his final game as a Mississippi State player.
Outfielder Hunter Renfroe
Junior | Crystal Springs, Miss. Profile
“I didn’t make my eighth-grade baseball team in junior high. [That coach and I] are still friends -– no hard feelings there. He’s a great guy. He gets ragged on all the time that he cut Hunter Renfroe from his eighth-grade team.”
It's a fact: Renfroe set the school record with an SEC-leading 10 outfield assists in 2012.
Head Coach Dan McDonnell
The Citadel (1992) Profile
“I enjoy going through the grocery store. I come from a family of food Nazis, so we take our food real seriously. My wife knows that if she sends me to the grocery store to get something, it’s going to be hours. I walk up and down each aisle because I enjoy it. I enjoy food – it’s one of the great joys of life. I have great memories of eating, whether it’s with family or friends or even with the team. I think meal time is a real bonding time.”
It's a fact: During his playing days for The Citadel, McDonnell earned four letters, helping the Bulldogs to the 1990 College World Series, marking the first time a military school has made the trip to Omaha. He was a member of the All-Atlantic Regional team in Miami that same season.
Starting Pitcher Jeff Thompson
Junior | Greenville, Ind. Profile
“I wasn’t even a baseball fan growing up. I always loved football and sophomore year of high school I saw that I had a brighter future in baseball. I played football, basketball and baseball all through high school.”
It's a fact: Thompson had nine strikeouts in a six-inning no-hitter on July 29 to lead the Bourne Braves to a win against Harwich in the Cape Cod League.
Head Coach Tracy Smith
Miami (Ohio) (1989) Profile
“I have a 70,000-song karaoke setup in my basement with three microphones. I’m the social chair around the department, and one of my rules is that if you’re good, you aren’t allowed on it.”
It's a fact: In the fall of 1992, Smith participated in the Major League Scouting Bureau's Professional Scout School as a representative of the Chicago Cubs.
Catcher Kyle Schwarber
Sophomore | Middletown, Ohio Profile
“I was in show choir in high school. Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson was my favorite song to peform.”
It's a fact: Schwarber was a second team All-Ohio linebacker selection in high school.
|NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS|
Head Coach Mike Fox
North Carolina (1978) Profile
“I love sweets. That’s a bad one -- I have to work on that. It’s my comfort food after we lose. Cookies -- I love oatmeal cookies. It’s one of my biggest weaknesses.”
It's a fact: Fox was named the American Baseball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year in 1989 after leading the North Carolina Wesleyan to the national title.
Pitcher Kent Emanuel
Junior | Woodstock, Ga. Profile
“If baseball didn’t work out I was going to play basketball. I was pretty good in high school, but I don’t know where I would’ve played -- it never came to that.”
It's a fact: Emanuel entered the season with the sixth-lowest career ERA in school history.
|NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK|
Head Coach Elliott Avent
No school listed Profile
“Everyone thinks I’m such a people person and I’m such an extroverted person. But I’m a hermit. When I’m off the stage, off the baseball field, I don’t play golf -- I don’t have hobbies. My hobby is watching something from the 60s. Whether it’s Gunsmoke or Bonanza -- I want to be a cowboy and I’m too short so I love to watch all the old westerns. So that’s how I unwind. Either that or sit on a porch and stare at the ocean.”
It's a fact: NC State has had just 16 head coaches in more than 100 years of varsity baseball, and only three of them coached the Wolfpack longer than Avent, who passed the legendary Sam Esposito as the program's all-time winningest coach on May 9, 2010.
Pitcher Carlos Rodon
Sophomore | Holly Springs, N.C. Profile
“I really like saltwater aquariums, I actually have one in my room. I have little Nemos, some conch fish, a little coral. It’s something that gets my mind off baseball.”
It's a fact: Rodon was the first DI freshman to be a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award last year.
Head Coach Paul Mainieri
Florida International (1980) Profile
“I love to sing and dance -- I just have no talent at either one of them. I also love junk food. Ice cream, Oreo cookies, candy -- I’m not proud of that and I’m not a very good example to others but I can’t help it. I think I get it from my father."
It's a fact: Mainieri was the first civilian baseball coach at Air Force and set school record for Western Athletic Conference wins (13) in 1989.
Pitcher Chris Cotton
Senior | Shreveport, La. Profile
“I like to play golf a lot, but not right before the games because my arm can get pretty tight. I like to have fun with it and I like to play baseball a lot but it’s good to get your mind off of it sometimes. The University Course down in Baton Rouge is real nice. We have those days where we’ll go right after practice -- you don’t have to dress up, you can play in your gym shorts.”
It's a fact: Cotton said he would rather walk on at LSU instead of "any other scholarship offered to me” and participated in walk-on tryouts in the fall of 2009. He was added to the roster just prior to the 2010 season opener.
Head Coach John Savage
Nevada (1991) Profile
“I love 70’s music. There are a couple I really like, but I would say my favorite to listen to is the Rolling Stones. Even though they started before that era.”
It's a fact: Savage played two seasons in the Reds' organization before moving on to help the independent league Salt Lake City Trappers set a professional baseball record with 29 consecutive victories in 1987.
Infielder Cody Regis
Senior | Glendora, Calif. Profile
“I am a diehard Cubs fan. I grew up in Arizona when I was a kid and they had spring training there. The first baseball hat my dad got me was a Cubs hat, so ever since I’ve been a fan.”
It's a fact: Regis played for the Tampa Bay Rays Scout Team in 2007 and 2008. He was also named the San Gabriel Valley 18-and-under Babe Ruth Team Most Valuable Player in the summer of 2009.